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His Anvil
Written By
Shelly Brown

A few of years ago, I sat across from a close friend, sobbing. She waited patiently as she tenderly held my hands in hers. Finally, I looked up at her with a pain-ridden face, and through my tears said, “You know how when people are going through really difficult times, when they finally get through it, they say something like, ‘It was worth it. I wouldn’t trade what I went through for anything.’ Well, I will NEVER be able to say that!”

I had lost a lot in just a short amount of time, and I was hurting and broken. One of the things that at the time, seemed lost, was my ministry to women. It was as though God had put me on a shelf, and I wasn’t sure that He would ever take me off that shelf.

What I didn’t realize is that God hadn’t put me on a shelf. No. Not at all! The shelf would not suffice for His purpose. He had placed me on His anvil.

Think for a moment about an anvil. The blacksmith puts a rod into the fire until it becomes pliable and moldable and then he takes it out of the fire and secures it into the anvil where he then begins to hammer it. He applies pressure to it, shaping it, molding it until it takes on the shape and the likeness that the blacksmith desires.

It wasn’t long after that declaration to my friend, that I found myself face down on my bedroom floor in absolute surrender and brokenness crying out to God … “Okay Lord, whatever it is that you need to take me through, take me through it. Just whatever you do, would you change me? Please don’t let me be the same woman I am today when I get through this journey.”

And change me, He has! There is not one part of me that resembles the woman that was sitting across from her friend that day. He’s hammered out a lot of impurities in my life, healed a lot of brokenness, given me more insight into His truths, and He’s restoring my ladies ministry in ways I never dreamed possible.

I think of Isaiah 61:3 where it says, our ashes will be turned into beauty. What I’ve come to realize through my time on His anvil is that in order for there to be ashes, there first must be a fire. And the fire is excruciatingly painful, as is the time spent on the anvil. But, that fire is essential to bring out the beauty of Christ in our lives.

So, you know how when people are going through really difficult times, when they finally get through it, they say something like, ‘It was worth it. I wouldn’t trade what I went through for anything.’ Well … I can honestly say, “It WAS worth it!”

When we submit to His holy anvil, as painful as it is, we ultimately will be able to say what Job declared in the book that bares his name, Job 23:10 – “But he knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

Shelly Brown has spent the last decade sharing the hope and healing she has found in Jesus Christ with women of all ages. A life filled with hurt, abandonment, rejection and pain left Shelly emotionally damaged and longing for love. It was only through the redemptive power of God’s incredible love that she found restoration and wholeness. Shelly often uses humor and poignant details as she shares her life experiences along with solid biblical truths, revealing the hope and healing that only God can give. Her deepest desire is to be used by God to impact the lives of women by not just having their hearts stirred, but forever changed.

Shelly, what a blessing. I am so tickled to have you guest write. I hope you will return soon and share more with us. I just love your spirit. I needed those words you have graciously shared. May your ministry continue to grow as you bless women all over the world. You are a willing vessel and a mighty encourager to women who just need to be loved on. I love the analogy you have brought us. It gives me a whole new perspective. It is my prayer also that I am a changed woman. We are a work in progress and through Christ we are made perfect. That's a pretty awesome gift. It is my prayer that just as you have blessed me and my readers, you too will have your cup overflowing.



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